Omar Abdullah joins Rahul Gandhi’s jammu and kashmir yatra, both wearing T-Shirts

27 January, 2023 | Pragati Singh

kashmir National

"The Bharat Jodo Yatra is not aimed at improving the image of Rahul Gandhi but for improving the situation in the country," the NC leader told reporter.

National Conference (NC) leader Omar Abdullah attended the Bharat Jodo Yatra in Banihal, Jammu and Kashmir, on Friday, stating that the Rahul Gandhi-led march is not being carried out to improve the Congress leader’s image, but rather to transform the country’s circumstances and climate.

The former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister stated that he did not like to discuss the Congress’ position on the abolition of Jammu and Kashmir’s special status.

“The Bharat Jodo Yatra is not aimed at improving the image of Rahul Gandhi but for improving the situation in the country,” the NC leader told reporters upon his arrival in this highway town 120 kilometres from Srinagar.

Mr Abdullah stated that he joined the yatra because he was more worried about the country’s image. “We have not joined this for the image of an individual but for the image of the county,” he explained.

The NC leader went on to say that Mr Gandhi started the yatra not for personal reasons, but because he was concerned about attempts to incite communal tensions and attack minorities in the country.

“This government might be making friends with Arab countries but the fact remains that there is no representative in this government from the largest minority of the country,” he remarked.

“It might be for the first time since Independence that the ruling party does not have a single member of parliament — either in Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha — from the Muslim community. It shows their attitude,” he added.

Speaking about the Congress’ position on repealing Article 370, Mr Abdullah stated, “We will fight the case for the restoration of Article 370 in the court. The way the government is dragging its feet on the hearing of the petition tells us that our case is very strong.”

He stated that it has been eight years since elections in Jammu & Kashmir.

“The last assembly elections were held in 2014. This has been the longest period between the two elections in Jammu and Kashmir. It was not the case even at the peak of militancy,” he said.

The administration, according to Mr Abdullah, wants the people of Jammu and Kashmir to beg for elections.

“We are not beggars and we won’t beg for it,” he said.